Local restaurants warned of sophisticated wine scam circulating in Hua Hin

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An elaborate wine scam, which previously made headlines in Bangkok, has made its way to Hua Hin, with restauranteurs urged to remain vigilant.

The scheme came to attention earlier this week when a Hua Hin restaurant narrowly avoided falling prey to it. The modus operandi involves scammers making a reservation under the guise of hosting a high-end event and then pushing restaurants to procure wine from a specific vendor.

In a recent instance, a reservation was made for a table of 25, under the name ‘Mook’. The fraudster then urged the restaurant to prepare wine, steering them towards a vendor they recommended. When the establishment reached out to this vendor, they were met with a demand for a 60% upfront payment before any wine would be shipped. The order for the six bottles totalled over 58,000 THB.

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Adding an extra layer of deception, the scammers conveyed the illusion of the attendees being of significant importance, further pressuring the restaurant into making the purchase. The wine seller was particularly aggressive about the upfront payment.

In a fortunate twist of fate, two Hua Hin restaurants, owned by members of the same family, both received similar reservations. This prompted a discussion between the owners, leading to the realization of the scam. While no money was lost to the wine purchase, preparations for the non-existent guests were already underway, resulting in potential losses for the restaurant.

This isn’t an isolated case. Such scams have left businesses out of pocket in Bangkok and it’s feared that the trend is spreading.

Local businesses are reminded to only purchase wine and other products from reputable sellers and to always be wary of any deal or reservation that appears too good to be true.

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